Christmas selling: What are your top tips?

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Christmas is coming and eBay have sent out ’08 – ’09 wall planners to thousands of sellers with last postage dates already marked on them. Also of interest is that the eBay Christmas buyer campaign kicks off Monday 3rd November so expect to see increased activity on the site from then.

eBay have also updated the Christmas seller information with their top tips for trading over the Christmas period. Hidden away at the bottom is possibly the most important tip which is to make sure you’re using item specifics. The new eBay search relies heavily on these as buyers start to refine searches and they’re also used in Best Match to present the most relevant items in search.

Shop front beta coming soon

There’s also a shop front beta test kicking off on November 11th, promising new designs more in keeping with the updated eBay pages, better item display, easier management and overall a more professional look and feel. If you want your shop in tip top shape for the busiest time of the year it’s worth considering, although by mid November many sellers will be too busy picking and packing to play with shop settings.

Top tips for Christmas selling

My top tip for getting through the Christmas period with minimum of hassle is to make sure you’ve ordered enough packing materials and stationary to get you through to January. There’s nothing worse than running out of supplies the week before Christmas. Add your top tips for the Christmas trading period in comments below:

29 Responses

  1. Something I learnt last year was to separately list best selling lines with Special Delivery as the first postal option, and utilise the Get It Fast button, but also highlight overnight/expediated delivery in the description and/or subtitle.

    In the last few days leading up to Christmas, even before the last posting dates had passed, I was selling more from the Get It Fast listing, than the standard one.

  2. That’s a goodie, Steve.

    My top tip is: send out vouchers for your website (10% off, free postage, whatever you like) valid for – say – 26th December to 31st January – with all your orders from now til New Year’s Eve. Make sure some of that Christmas money comes back to you, and give people something to do when they’re fed up with mince pies and The Great Escape.

  3. Yep defo start advertising your own website to customer you are selling to from marketplaces over the next few months, you should send more out now than ever.

    Also get ready for the sale after xmas! People (like me) will be waiting this year for bargins after christmas so make sure you have some, start looking at lines you can push the RRP up so you can reduce after xmas, or buy some lines in to sell to, plenty of bargins to be had with suppliers.

    Make sure you offer a full range of delivery options, such as Next Day and guaranteed times, people get desperate nearer the time and want it asap. I am still shocked at how many sellers don’t offer this!

    Stu

  4. Few from me…

    1. Follow up with your buyers as the Xmas rush kicks in. Perhaps consider changing your automated emails to cover the Xmas postage times and to explain clearly to the buyer the inevitable delays in postage.

    2. Don’t expect feedback in kind straight away. In many cases buyers are busy running around trying to source parsnips and worrying about Aunt Holga’s imminent arrival. Be patient.

    3. Offer wrapping if you think it makes a difference to either (a) your sales against the competition or (b) the quality of your feedback DSRs (if needed)

    4. If you sell NEW add that to the title where possible without compromising your keyword strategy. People generally don’t buy second hand presents at Xmas unless they are unique collectables.

    5. Plan your visit to the post office in advance. It’ll be busy. Look at what online options you have.

    6. Use video to communicate your postage times, your other items or a festive message to your buyers! At this time of year who can resist someone in a knocked off Santa hat?

    Ho Ho Ho

  5. #4 start looking at lines you can push the RRP up so you can reduce after xmas

    Sounds a bit dodgy

  6. At #5

    4. If you sell NEW add that to the title where possible without compromising your keyword strategy. People generally don’t buy second hand presents at Xmas unless they are unique collectables.

    If you change your titles, you risk losing item popularity score for current items!

  7. It’s not dodgy, you need to set a RRP for at least 30days before you can reduce it. As long as you don’t mark somthing up in a stupid way like a t-shirt that would retail about £25, it would look silly to mark it upto £50 because people would know it’s not true! But you could put it up to say £35 and have £10 etc etc

    How do you think DFS can have a half price sale, thats what they do!!!

    Most sales now are pretty much a con, it’s either worked into the price at the start or the RRP is set up. I used to be a buyer for a large group of retail stores at thats what happens with alot of sales items.

    Stu

  8. I still dont get it, you list something for £25 for 30 days, then use Markdown Manager to sell it for £15 – what about the lost sales from people who would have bought it for £15 if you had listed it at that price all the time

  9. you would only do it for certain items and not everything and you would only do it on items you are going to sell in volumes, for example I had an item that I put on sale for 28days at £25, in that time I infact sold 4 of them. Then I reduced it to half price and sold 50 in one week.

    it was only a suggestion to increase sales over and after Christmas and I wouldn’t suggest you do it on single lines, ideally you need to have plenty of stock of the item.

    stu

  10. Send everything you can Special Delivery or Courier
    cos Royal mail employs part time christmas staff that are either stupid or light fingered
    and ebay finds extra stupid buyers around christmas just to light up your christmas fairy with extra glee

  11. A large bottle of Scotch beside your PC to cope with the never ending stream of “where’s my item” emails. 😆

  12. jamie

    I dont give a christmas fig if they ever give feedback as long as its not negative

  13. Use Quantity Manager – https://www.qtyman.com/

    Developed in the last week or so by someone active on this site and now offering a free 7 day trial you have nothing to lose by giving it a try. (I pay to use this service or at least I will when my trial ends and am not getting anything for this post)

    To quote:

    “One of the features of eBay’s new “Best Match” algorithm is that it takes into account recent sales. If your multiple quantity fixed price listing has sales it will be given a boost in the best match sort compared to those listings that have had fewer sales. This boost is also carried over to the first relist as long as you don’t change it significantly (title, price, etc). Along with recent fee changes, this part of the algorithm encourages eBay sellers to place all their inventory within fewer listings.

    The problem with this algorithm is that it goes contrary to buyer behavior. A buyer is more likely to purchase an item from a seller if only a few remain. A seller who lists all their items in one listing may find themselves with little or no sales compared to one who only lists a fraction of their inventory within the listing.

    This site will automatically manage a sellers fixed price listings so they can keep an artificially low quantity visible to their buyers without risking selling out of the listing and having to relist. All the seller has to do is tell us the quantity in stock and the quantity to maintain in the listing. We’ll refresh your inventory anytime a buyer makes a purchase until you run out. We free up the seller to do other activities such as improving the buyer experience.”

    So do have a look at this solution if you have multiple quantities of the same product but don’t want 55 of the same item live on ebay at any one time. Our own ebay sales have increased since using this and it’s cheaper than employing an umpalumpa to update quantities on an ongoing basis. 🙂

  14. @ # 18

    That’s what I did last year 🙂

    The year before that I actually lost money during the Christmas season because about 5% of my packages went completely missing. That is about 10x the normal rate. I suspect an inside job at my local PO.

  15. some how some way get the dollops that buy on ebay,
    to get it into their thick skull ,that if they are not in .
    no bugger can deliver the sod.
    it is then returned to the sorting office. and if they dont get their butt down to collect the effa its returned to sender

  16. of course I care about feedback if only because
    it effects how you can do business on ebay

  17. I publicised everywhere humanly possible my last pre-Christmas (and New Year) posting date from 1st november. I also made it a couple of days earlier than the official Royal Mail one, but I continued to post until collection service stopped completely.

    Buyers paid up in time for my earlier posting “deadline” and it took the pressure of being on the last minute.

  18. No bugger wants a bath in December so I am off to the canary’s for 3 weeks,, I think its only fair I share my moaning around so know bugger feels left out.

  19. I think last post for me will be the 19th December or maybe push sending 22nd

    Then the next one would be the 29th an maybe 30th december.

    Return to full postage on the 5th January as im not going in on the 2nd January (enough time to adjust the brain cells)

    What im going to do is set up an email that when people purchase something from me to explain these postage dates and say its christmas/new year and i maybe in the pub instead.

  20. wadda ya mean no one wants a bath in december, I get a bath every 12 months even if I dont need too

  21. #26 Just how many ensuites does that castle have Norf?

    I’ll leave the factory key under the mat for ya, help yourself.

  22. Why doncha come and sell baths in Australia in December, then, whirly? Start of summer, great weather, maybe no-one wants a bath but almost everyone needs one!

  23. #28 I do have some contacts in OZ Judy, some firms out there use our jets and one firm out there supplies some of our lights.

    Shipped a bath to the Falklands yesterday which is the furthest we have ever sent one, just hope the bugger don’t leak after all that travelling, would be a pricey service call 😆

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